Kathmandu record back to back win

KATHMANDU: Region-III (Kathmandu) registered back to back wins while Region-II (Birgunj) suffered their second successive defeat during the Spingwood Twenty20 National Cricket Tournament here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Wednesday.

Kathmandu defeated Region-IV (Bhairahawa) by four wickets while Birgunj suffered 39-run loss to Region-I (Biratnagar). Kathmandu had defeated Birgunj by 43 runs in the inaugural match on Tuesday. Kathmandu lead the league standings with a maximum four points while Biratnagar are second with two points from one game.

Electing to bat first, Bhairahawa were all out for 99 runs in 19.4 overs and Kathmandu surpassed the total losing six wickets in 18.1 overs. Bhairahawa had a disastrous start losing their openers Sagar Pun (naught) and Manoj Baishya (one) but skipper Shakti Gauchan and his deputy Basanta Regmi rescued their team from a precarious 2-2 to 51-4 when both the batsmen were dismissed at the same score in the space of four balls.

Chaudhary bowled Shakti in 10.4 overs before Kathmandu skipper Paras Khadka dismissed Basanta in the first ball of the next over. Basanta top scored with 31 off 30 balls that included two sixes and as many fours. Shakti made a composed 15 off 29 balls. In their bid to increase the run rate, Bhairahawa lost wickets in regular intervals before eventually being dismissed in the 19.4 overs. Aakash Gupta made a quickfire 22 off 15 balls with two sixes and two fours. Paras was the pick of the Kathmandu bowlers with 3-15 while Diependra Chaudhary (2-8) and Raju Basnet (2-26) claimed two wickets each. Pramod Basnet and Rom Shrestha also grabbed one wicket apiece.

In reply, Kathmandu were made to fight for the victory despite the modest target. Opener Paresh Lohani anchored the Kathmandu innings despite the regular loss of their wickets. Man of the match Paresh ramained unbeaten on 49, hitting four boundaries and two sixes in his 46-ball knock. Manoj Sood (16) and Raju Basnyat (10) were the only other Kathmandu batsmen to score in double figures. Gauchan took 3-11 and Regmi claimed 2-10 for Bhairahawa.

Earlier in the first match, Biratnagar scored 124-5 and restricted Birgunj for 85-9 in 20 overs. Biratnagar had a disastrous start losing openers Sunny Pun (five) and Mehboob Alam (naught) in the first over bowled by Bigunj skipper Binod Das. They were in deep trouble when Vivek Jha was run out at 10-3 by the third over but Puspa Thapa and Ajay Rajbanshi put on 91-run stand for the fourth wicket to guide their team past 100-run mark. Man of the match Puspa made 59 off 51 balls including three sixes and as many fours while Ajay made 35 from 46. Das finished with figures of 3-16 while Anil Mandal took 1-19.

In reply, Birgunj struggle to cope up with the disciplined Kathmandu bowling and were restricted to 85-9. Of the top seven Birgunj batsmen, only Hasim Amla (15) was able to score in double figures. Lower-order batsmen Aakash Singh Pariyar made 16 and Sanjam Regmi chipped in 13 runs. Raj Kumar Pradhan claimed 3-12 and Mehboob Alam took 2-23 for Biratnagar. Manjeet Shrestha, Ajay Rajbanshi and Kundan Singh also grabbed one wicket each.